6 Ways To Find Instant Happiness
6 Ways To Find Instant Happiness
Getting tired of winter? It’s not just you. The Centre of Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital located in Toronto, explains that many people experience symptoms of seasonal mood changes, especially through the winter months. “Most common is the winter blues, a feeling of less positivity, which dissipates when the winter season is over.”
However, it’s important to note that for some, this effect can be more pronounced, resulting in a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which the Canadian Mental Health Association defines as "a kind of depression that appears at certain times of the year. It usually begins in the fall when the days get shorter and lasts through the winter.”
According to CAMH, the disorder is characterized by feelings of hopelessness, lethargy and oversleeping and increases in appetite and weight gain. The Mood Disorders Association of Ontario adds that “about 2 to 6 per cent of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime. Another 15 per cent experience a milder form of SAD.”
CAMH also points out that “SAD affects more women than men: up to 80 per cent of those affected by SAD are female.”
Talk to your doctor if feelings of depression persist or if you think you could be suffering from SAD.
How can you kick the good old winter blues? We’ve gathered some fun ideas to get out of the weather-induced rut.
1. Watch A Funny Movie
Nothing says warm fuzzies like a good romantic comedy. Airing this weekend on W Network: Crazy, Stupid, Love starring (hot) Ryan Gosling, (hilarious) Steve Carell, and (let’s face it, she’s both hot and hilarious) Emma Stone. Tune in Sunday, February 15 at 6:00 p.m. Or if that’s too soon: Wedding Crashers, starring funny guys Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, airs on Sunday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m.
2. Buy Something Bright... That You Can Wear Right Now
It's easy to feel down when spring fashions are popping up in stores and plastered all over magazine covers, but wind chill and icy sidewalks are keeping you bundled in boots and a parka. Instead of impulse buying a sundress that will hang in your closet waiting for the spring thaw, add a bright accessory to your shopping therapy list for a dose of cheery colour you can wear right now.
J.Crew Scarf, $57, jcrew.com
H&M Necklace, $40, hm.com/ca
Express Tote, $30, express.com
3. Get Your Sweat On And Endorphins Up With Exercise
There's a reason for the #fitspiration meme "'I really regret doing that workout'— said no one ever.” Thanks to endorphin release in the brain triggered during exercise, you’re guaranteed to feel better after a good sweat session . Mix things up by trying a new class like indoor surfing. Don’t want to venture out into the cold to get the gym? Try Nike’s N+TC app for an at-home workout that rivals the best of them. Better yet? Grab a friend and get moving together.
4. Dig Into A Fresh, Healthy Salad
A bowl of fresh flavours and bright colours is sure to give you a boost. Studies have shown that a diet high in fruits and veggies protects mental health. Dig in at Vancouver’s Juice Truck Cafe, Montreal's Aux Vivres, or Toronto's Bolt Fresh Bar.
5. Indulge In Some Light Therapy
“Light therapy has been found to have an anti-depressant effect in 70 per cent of people with SAD,” says The Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, adding that “most people find relief within two weeks of beginning light therapy.” Philips goLITE BLU Energy light is a portable device that emits blue light designed to emulate daylight, aiming to improve energy level and mood. Philips recommends using it for 20-30 minutes a day.
6. Can’t Beat The Weather? Join It!
Change your mood by changing you attitude: Get outside and play! Instead of dreaming of an expensive beach vacation (although, that would be nice too!), embrace our Canadian climate by taking a weekend road trip or staycation to enjoy winter sports like downhill or cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing or dog sledding. Check your local or provincial tourism board’s website for activities near you.